Category Archives: suffering

Learning to relax

I have written before about being driven to be highly organised, and not feeling sure whether this is an entirely healthy thing. I’ve been thinking about this again in light of my recent forays into Brene Brown’s shame resilience work, … Continue reading

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Stoicism, acceptance and happiness

I have a negative bent, a tendency to see the bad in life more clearly than the good. I get very affected by bad news – and there’s a lot of it: worsening inequality, dismantling of the welfare state, another financial crisis potentially … Continue reading

Posted in absolute goodness, meditation, morality, personal reflection, philosophy, Stoicism, suffering, Sunday Assembly | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Shame, pain, and protective ideologies

In the previous post, I discussed what I had learned from Brene Brown’s book “I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t)” about the way shame can arise from failing to meet expectations. A second major route into shame … Continue reading

Posted in feminism, morality, personal reflection, politics, social justice, suffering | 3 Comments

Thoughts on the role of art in life’s struggles

I’ve been pondering how people handle pain and discomfort, in situations where walking away from it either isn’t an option or isn’t a choice they are willing to make. Possibly triggered partly by a book I’m reading in which a … Continue reading

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Stoicism

I just read “The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking” by Oliver Burkemann. It presented several different counter-intuitive paths to happiness, having first discussed the limitations and ineffectiveness of a lot of the “positive thinking” cult. One … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, Stoicism, suffering | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Suffering and the need for a good story

A few years ago, one of the big things that stopped me believing in an underlying purpose and intention in our existence (i.e. that the universe was created by some kind of a god) had to do with suffering. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in absolute goodness, God, morality, myth and metaphor, personal reflection, philosophy, science, suffering | 4 Comments

Being driven without being driven crazy

I’m curious about the state of being driven, and how to do it in a healthy way. Is it possible to really want something, and – crucially – find the motivation to do what’s needed to achieve it, without risking total … Continue reading

Posted in meditation, personal reflection, science, self-improvement, spiritual, suffering | 10 Comments

Clarity: my new understanding of mindfulness

I have been interested in meditation as a way of improving quality of life ever since I first read about it in 2004, and have even dabbled in it from time to time. I find its track record in healthcare … Continue reading

Posted in is religion good or bad for you?, meditation, morality, personal reflection, philosophy, science, self-improvement, spiritual, suffering | 8 Comments

Dealing with negative thoughts: the ACT perspective

Sorry the post is so long, but I haven’t written anything for five months 😀 I’m making a return to posting by picking up the same theme I left off with: the possibility of actively changing your thought patterns and … Continue reading

Posted in meditation, personal reflection, science, self-improvement, suffering | 12 Comments

The Happiness Hypothesis, part 1: happiness

I have just finished the best book I’ve read so far this year: “The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom and Philosophy to the Test of Modern Science”, by Jonathan Haidt. I enjoyed his TED talk on the moral roots of liberals … Continue reading

Posted in meditation, science, self-improvement, social justice, suffering | 3 Comments